Challenges for Manchester today; London will follow

The JC Leader, 17 February 2023

February 16, 2023 11:56

Anyone with an interest in Anglo-Jewry and our institutions should pay close attention to the report in our Community pages on the state of Manchester Jewry. With its rapidly growing Charedi population, the city is signalling the future for other areas.

In the strictly-Orthodox stronghold of Salford, the Jewish population has increased by 35 percent in a decade. Overall in the city, Jewish numbers have swelled by 12 per cent — possibly an underestimate. With this growth has come a huge challenge to the non-Charedi Jewish institutions which serve the rest of Manchester’s Jews.

Even within the Charedi population there are many different organisations, reflecting nuances of need, but also the perennial Jewish tendency of everyone wanting to be the boss. It will take patience and some diplomacy to streamline the provision of support across Manchester’s Jews.

Many strictly-Orthodox families are struggling to make ends meet in the cost of living crisis. Housing costs are beyond the means of many young people, and an ageing population needs help too.

It’s clear that Manchester’s Jews need to think creatively about ways to work more closely together, to be flexible and responsive to everyone’s needs. A ‘Working Together’ campaign is suggested, which, if successful, could offer a blueprint for parts of London.

The challenges are huge, but with imagination, the benefits could be great.

February 16, 2023 11:56

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